Isabella of England, Holy Roman Empress, Queen consort of Sicily

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Isabella Plantagenet, Princess of England

Lithuanian: Izabelė, Princess of England
Also Known As: "Elizabeth", "Isabelle", "Isabel"
Birthplace: Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
Death: December 01, 1241 (26-27)
Foggia, Foggia, Apulia, Italy
Place of Burial: Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta di Andria, Andria, Provincia di Barletta - Andria - Trani Puglia, Italy
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John I "Lackland", King of England and Isabella of Angoulême
Wife of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother of Heinrich Jordan Hohenstaufen; Agnes; "Heinrich" Karl Otto Hohenstaufen; Frederick Hohenstaufen and Margherita di Sicilia
Sister of Henry III, king of England; Joan of England, Queen Consort of Scotland; Eleanor of Leicester, Countess of Pembroke & Leicester and Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
Half sister of Hugh XI of Lusignan, count of La Marche; Aymar of Lusignan, Bishop of Winchester; Agnes of Lusignan; Guy of Lusignan; Geoffrey of Lusignan and 18 others

Occupation: Holy Roman Empress
Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:

About Isabella of England, Holy Roman Empress, Queen consort of Sicily

Isabella of England, Holy Roman Empress; Queen consort of Sicily

  • Isabella of England, also called Elizabeth (1214 – 1 December 1241) was an English princess and, by marriage, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, and Queen consort of Sicily.


She was the fourth child but second daughter of King John of England and Isabella of Angoulême.

At a friendly meeting at Rieti, Pope Gregory IX suggested to Emperor Frederick II that he marry princess Isabella, a sister of Henry III of England. At first Frederick II was concerned to lose his French allies; but when he realised that an English marriage might end the ongoing Anglo-French feud and constitute an important step towards the restoration of peace in Western Christendom, thus smoothing the way for a successful crusade, he agreed. The betrothal was formalized in London in February 1235.

Her brother Henry had to levy an unpopular tax of two marks of silver per hide in order to afford the thirty thousand marks Frederick insisted on as Isabella's dowry. Frederick sought this large amount to help fund his wars in northern Italy.

The beautiful Isabella was about twenty-one years old when she set out to marry the twice-widowed Emperor Frederick II, who was forty. On her way through Cologne, she delighted the local women when she removed the traditionally worn veil so that they could see her face.

The marriage between Isabella and Frederick took place in Worms Cathedral on 15 or 20 July 1235; in the ceremony, she was also crowned Holy Roman Empress, Queen of Germany and Sicily. She was granted the castle of Monte Sant'Angelo by her husband upon her marriage.

However, as soon as she was married she was added to the Emperor's harem, which included women from Arabia attended by black eunuchs. Their marriage had been a political match, and she was allowed to keep only two of her English women-attendants, Margaret Biset, who probably had been her nurse, and her maid Kathrein; the others were sent home.

Isabella lived in retirement at Noventa Padovana where her husband regularly visited her. When her brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, returned from the crusades, he was allowed to visit her, although Isabella was not allowed to be present at the official reception. While the imperial court resided at Foggia, Isabella gave birth to her last child and died. She is buried beside Frederick's previous wife, Queen Isabella II of Jerusalem, in Andria Cathedral, near Bari.


Primary sources are at variance concerning Isabella's issue, including the number of children she had, their names, and their birth order. What is known for sure is that Isabella had at least four children: a son who died shortly after his birth in 1236 or 1241, a daughter who - like her older brother - died shortly after her birth in 1237, Margaret, and Heinrich. Margaret is believed by some to have been the first child, and by others to be the child whose birth caused Isabella's death. The most common belief is that Margaret was the last child. The short-lived son of Isabella has been given the name of Frederick, Jordanus/Jordan, and Carl Otto by various sources. Some historians believe Isabella actually had five children, two short-lived sons instead of one, and that they were named Jordanus/Carl Otto and Frederick, the two being born in spring 1236 and summer 1240.

  • Frederick/Jordan/Charles Otto (Spring 1236–1236)
  • Agnes (born & died 1237)
  • Henry (18 January 1238 – May 1254)
  • Margaret, landgravine of Thuringia (1 December 1241 – 8 August 1270)

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Isabella of England, Holy Roman Empress, Queen consort of Sicily's Timeline

Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
February 18, 1238
Vercelli, Piemonte, Italy
December 1, 1241
Foggia, Province of Foggia, Apulia, Italy
December 1, 1241
Age 27
Foggia, Foggia, Apulia, Italy
December 1241
Age 27
Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta di Andria, Andria, Provincia di Barletta - Andria - Trani Puglia, Italy